Suspected loansharks spray-paint cars of innocent neighbours

Three women accused of vandalising vehicles in order to get people to pay back debts were arrested and charged in court on Saturday (Jun 17). 

The incident happened between Tuesday (Jun 13) and Wednesday (Jun 14), with at least two vehicles parked at the multi-storey carpark in Block 548, Hougang Avenue 8, and Block 228, Simei Street 4, spray-painted pink, reports Lianhe Wanbao via Lianhe Zaobao.

Notes telling them to return their due debts were also pasted on the vehicles’ windshields.

When reporters spoke to the owner of one affected vehicle, the 59-year-old man told them that his white Mercedes was painted pink.

On the day of the incident, his wife was on her way to retrieving the car when she spotted three women spray painting the vehicle. 

She shouted at them and the three fled immediately.

His wife examined a note left on the windshield, which was addressed to a neighbour staying in Block 230, which was directly opposite the block the couple stayed in.

She suspected that the women were loanshark runners. 

Fortunately, the paint used was water-based and could be easily removed, said the unlucky car owner. 

Another vehicle owner when interviewed, suggested that the runners could have specifically targeted white cars, as the visual impact was more jarring.

He added that doing so would alert the neighbours and pressure the targets to return the money owed. 

The three women, aged 22, 21 and 24 were charged under the Moneylenders Act in court.

The three were accused of vandalising a vehicle parked on storey 2B of a carpark at Block 548, Hougang Avenue 8 on Tuesday (Jun 12) at around 3pm, under the instructions of a loanshark known as ‘Sunny’. 

Two of the suspects, and another accomplice were also accused of vandalising another vehicle in the carpark at Block 228, Simei Street 4. 

The accomplice is yet to be charged. 

It is also believed that the three are part of a larger syndicate and were involved in many cases aside from the two mentioned.

When inquired about the incident, the police said that they received a report about loanshark harassment between Jun 13 and Jun 14, and the victims’ vehicles were spray painted, with notes left behind.

Court documents revealed that police surveillance cameras (PolCam) captured one of the suspect’s features.

Upon identification, she was arrested on Jun 15 along Paya Lebar Road.

The other two suspects were subsequently arrested along Punggol Central on the same day,